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What Happened to Discernment, Resourcefulness, and Common Sense?

i received an email from an employee asking about a recipe that had been posted to the web site. it went something like this: i’m allergic to chicken and eggs. the recipe calls for chicken. can i substitute turkey? and if so, how much? i responded something like this "sure since chicken and turkey are nearly identical, you can substitute turkey. use the amount listed in the recipe."

but what i wanted to say was "can’t eat chicken? why not use snake? it tastes like chicken. as for the amount, use about half the snake. you can freeze the other half and use it when the recipe calls for an ingredient you don’t have like frog legs (which also taste like chicken). make sense? thanks for asking.

even after this rather sarcastic mental response, i kept running the issue through my mind. why did the initial question bug me so much? why was it a hot button for me?

go ask the squirrel

while pondering the chicken > snake > frog leg thing, on a walk this noon, i happened upon a squirrel and stopped in amazement to watch it. the squirrel was gnawing on a thick sheet of ice (about 3 x 5) holding and eating it like an ear of corn. he (or she) started at the left and chomp chomped along till he reached the right edge, then started again . . . methodically eating the ice. as i watched this resourceful creature, i wondered if he consulted his buddies and asked…"hey there’s no water around here. do you think i can substitute ice? and by the way, how much ice do you think i should eat?" or do you think perhaps the squirrel just looked within, discerned, and decided to do the practical, natural thing and eat the ice until he’d had enough? still pondering the ingenuity and common sense of the squirrel, i watched as he hopped away (with the large slice of ice in his grip) to eat it in private.

Remember the Pioneers

It wasn’t that long ago that we were all pioneers, and we knew how to make simple decisions. If we didn’t have chicken, we’d use possum, skunk, snake, bear, buffalo, deer, or gopher. Or a stone. You’ve heard of stone soup? The next time I ask a stupid question (and it will probably be sometime soon) or don’t pause to use my own always-available common sense, I hope there’s somebody nearby to remind me of the squirrel and the pioneers. Oh yah, I should be able to figure this out myself.

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